Bars Studio B スタジオ ビー
“Oshare” is a Japanese word that comes to mind when stepping through the entrance of seven-month-old Studio B karoke bar. It is a word that translates to somewhere between stylish and hip. Rich wood paneling lines the walls, and the bar, which runs almost the entire length of the room, is made of polished wood that has been gently aged from previous ownership. The large windows provide a moody romantic view of the nighttime street below. Behind the bar, bottles of Studio B’s collection of beverages are lit from below in soft blues that add a small glow into an atmosphere that is just dark enough to suggest intimacy.
To call Studio B a karaoke bar seems to not do it justice. Sure, many people of varying talents come here to pick up a microphone and sing, but many more it seems come to relax and feel welcome in this neat little oasis, sip their favorite drink and perhaps meet some new people. The owners, mostly self-taught in all aspects of bar ownership, are very proud of their offerings. “We have a great drink selection,” says Studio B co-owner and bartender Samuel Panici. “We serve premium spirits and beers as well as some hard to find items.”
Panici then describes choices that include several original cocktails with names such as Mango Paradise, Legend of Jack Sparrow, Lead Singer and Kiwi Kooler. Fine wines and beers are also great sellers. Somewhat rare for Okinawa, Panici even has Irish coffee on the menu, which he makes without cutting corners, using heavy cream whipped to life with a blender, fresh-brewed coffee and Irish whiskey. Yes, Studio B is no dive bar.
The secret is in the service.
“We care for our customers,” says co-owner and partner Claudia Hirase. “We have a wide variety of ages and nationalities. This place attracts more mature, friendly and courteous people than a lot of others.” She explains that customer care in a karaoke bar can include everything from gentle encouragement to singing harmony to making sure that a customer leaves with an umbrella on a rainy night or a daiko (designated driver taxi service).
With one partner bringing all of his skills to bear behind the bar and the other out among the patrons and directing servers, this half of the management team of Studio B certainly makes a good lesson in teamwork – and perhaps something else as well.
How did you two meet?
There’s a shared gaze at this question, and then smiles before one of the great pre-Valentine’s Day responses: “We met at a karaoke bar.”
- 2F, 1-11-20 Chatan, Chatan-Town
- 20:00-2:00, daily
- $ accepted
- Credit cards accepted